They are called homing pigeons because of the fact that pigeons always return to their loft after an event or race. The reason I dedicate this post to pigeons is because of the fact that my father, a pigeon fancier, has raised over 100 generations of pigeons over the period of 3 decades. We have all kinds of pigeons from the racing pigeon, roller pigeon to the tipplers at home. Buwa (as I call my father) is more of a sporty nature who likes to gauge the flight of these navigators than raising fancy pigeons which are simply not made for flying.
I have been fascinated by these gentle birds ever since my childhood days (and still am). At first I would be a bit scared to hold them in my hands but with practice and closely watching my father handle these pigeons, I was finally able to let go of the fear and set them free to tour the sky. In my experience it is therapeutic to watch these birds fly high above independently in the clear blue.
Watching these docile birds closely, I can observe that they are very low-maintenance. A predator-safe, protected enclosure, food, water, grit, greens and companionship is all they ask for. Buwa, in the span of 3 decades, has been providing our pigeons all this. However, it is sad to see them fall prey to eagles and hawks while they are in flight even despite all these precautions.
I have fond memories with my pigeons and wish to have much more with these gentle creatures in the days to come. Nothing can compare to feeling of warmth that these kind birds generate in me.
Pigeons- masters of the leisure arts
In addition to their innate honesty, pigeons are masters of the leisure arts. They can spend hours at a stretch sunbathing, napping, flirting or nest-sitting. What amazes me the most is how they stand on one foot while they snooze away!
There are very few animals and birds which are loyal to the core. Like dogs who are man’s loyal companions, pigeons too exhibit similar trait. And what navigational skills they have. No wonder that pigeons were used as messengers in China and elsewhere when telegraph or modern means of communication were not invented.
Vertigo- A killer
There are several other dangers that surround pigeons. We have seen our lovely pigeons die as a result of ‘vertigo’. Vertigo literally means the state of feeling dizzy when one climbs a high building or a mountain and looks down at the ground. In the case of pigeons, vertigo is similar to having a dizzying sensation followed by the involuntary swinging of the head and falling dead on the ground. Although most of our pigeons have succumbed to death due to this sudden epidemic in the past; we are happy now that none of them have vertigo because it is a sign of a really serious liver derangement.
I leave you with an image of the article my father wrote on pigeons in Himal magazine some years ago. Click here for the image.